Monday Morning Quarterback
By BOP Staff
January 24, 2012
Well, if the vampires aren't sparkly...
Kim Hollis: Underworld Awakening, the fourth installment in the vampires vs. lycans (and now humans) franchise, opened to $25.3 million. Is this more, less or about what you were expecting?
Matthew Huntley: It's a little less than what I was expecting, actually. I thought the return of Kate Beckinsale might raise the stakes (no pun intended) and fuel the opening to about $28-$29 million, especially with the 3D/IMAX surcharges. And while the opening is higher than the last installment, the attendance is about the same, suggesting the franchise hasn't acquired any new fans.
I've yet to see the film, but I'm thinking this should probably be the last of the Underworld movies. The budget has gone up to $70 million and, frankly, I'm getting tired of each of them focusing on the "endless war between vampires and lycans..." It seems like that line has been spoken in each of these movies' trailers. Regardless, I think the only way we'd see an end to it all is if Awakening bombs internationally. To me, this franchise and Resident Evil are interchangeable and the latter's latest installment made close to $300 million worldwide, hence why Resident Evil: Retribution is right around the corner. If Underworld 4 can pull off the same magic, we'll be seeing another one in two or three years.
Bruce Hall: It's right about what I personally expected, although I understand it exceeded studio expectations. I believe this places Awakening in second place among the franchise's opening weekend numbers. So, despite what will be a typically front loaded run followed by a likely finish somewhere in the high $50 millions, the question is whether that will be enough momentum for another installment. I have a lot to say about that, but I'll restrain myself to this - since the money will surely be there, all that matters is whether Kate Beckinsale will return. Rise of the Lycans proved the same theoretical point made by Tokyo Drift (I'm sure you get my meaning), but while I feel both of those films are comparatively underrated, I wouldn't recommend trying the same stunt again. If it has to happen, bring back Beckinsale and while you're at it, head down to Starbucks and see if Scott Speedman has has overcome his creative differences.
For now, I'd say Len Wiseman has much to be proud of. I wonder how he'll celebrate? Oh, wait. Never mind, it just came to me. Lucky bastard.
Reagen Sulewski: This fits right in with Underworld's status as about 95% of Resident Evil, right down to copying the move to 3D (though what franchise isn't doing this now?). Whatever you might want to say about Underworld films, they stick to a well worn formula and as long as people continue to embrace it, they'll continue to churn them out. I fully expect #5 to be titled "Underworld: Hey, It's Another Underworld Movie!".
Edwin Davies: This is about what I expected given the previous track record of the series, which has always chugged along nicely, never really causing too much of a fuss but just sort of being there, and making a bit of money in the process. In keeping with its just sort of being there-ness, I didn't expect it to see a huge bump from the 3D conversion or Beckinsale's return, since the series might have its dedicated fans but it has never seemed able to make the leap into massive crossover appeal. However, the bump is so slight that it makes me think that the film didn't actually sell all that many more tickets than Rise of the Lycans did, so that suggests that the franchise is done, unless than can pull a Fast Five and make a halfway decent film for the fifth installment.